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2016/02 - Jack Neal Stages Rally (1 image) - created by Adge on 27/02/2016 at 14:03:12
Saturday 20th February and it was time Adrian Spencer in the Adgespeed backed Subaru Impreza WRC S11 to get some more seat time in preparation for the 2016 National Tarmac Championship. Having only done the Neil Howard Stages back in November 2015 since buying the car and with the engine refreshed for the season, the team decided to enter the Jack Neal Stages Rally held at Blyton in Lincolnshire, featuring 10 stages of 3.5-5 miles of good tarmac.

The day started very cold but dry and with Jeff Simm on the maps the team was looking forward to the event. With not having been to Blyton before and seeded car 5 it was looking a tough challenge with John Indri the previous owner of Adrians car debuting his new Ford Fiesta R5 who was seeded at 1, other notable entries were Tom Morris in his 6R4 car 4, John Marshall in his new Tegsport Built B13 Impreza Car 2, Lyndon Barton in his BMW M1 Car 3, Mark Roberts Escort Cosworth WRC Car 6 and Graham Bell at 7 in his newly acquired Millington engined Proton

With the weather dry and soft slicks fitted Adrian set off for the 1st stage and with a good clean run set the fastest time, which he repeated on stage 2 to take the lead by 6 seconds from Mark Roberts with Tom Morris in 3rd. The conditions stayed the same for stage 3 but a mistake by Spencer saw him stall the car at a hairpin losing approx 15 seconds and dropping down the order to 3rd with Bell who was starting to put in some quick times taking the lead by 1 second from Roberts and 3 from Spencer.

On stage 4 Adrian had a clean run, but beat the bogey time for the stage along with Tom Morris, but this allowed Adrian to move up to second, the fight back was on.

For stage 5 it started to rain and with the track not yet fully wet, intermediates were bolted on and with Indri starting to show some pace with fastest time, Adrian was still in 2nd only 3 secs behind Bell. Sticking with the same tyres for stage 6 Adrian again set the fastest time to move back into the lead by 3 seconds from Morris, but it saw a change in the order as Bell spun off and lost over 2 minutes getting going again which dropped them out of contention.

By Stage 7 Adrian decided that wets would be used but this proved to costly as the new tyres took a lap to bed in resulting in some off track excursions due to the lack of grip and with Morris setting the fastest time he took the lead by 10 seconds and this dropped Adrian to 2nd. Disaster struck for Mark Roberts when his engine gave up the ghost which moved Indri up to 3rd.

With it all to play for they competed stage 8 but all three beat the bogey so there was no change.

It was starting to dry out for stage 9 and with it all to play for, Adrian set the fastest time again to close the gap to 6 seconds from Tom Morris and then he took another 2 seconds on the last stage but it wasn't enough and he had to settle for 2nd O/A 4 seconds behind Tom Morris who had driven a good rally setting top 5 times all day. John Indri finisded 3rd

Although disappointed at not having won, lessons had been learnt and valuable seat time gained, Adrian was delighted to have been challenging for the win and more importantly beating John Indri the cars previous owner.